Egypt Frees Boys Held for Alleged Quran Defiling
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2012 Oct 05
An Egyptian security official says authorities have ordered the release of two Coptic Christian boys taken into juvenile detention for allegedly urinating on the Quran, but they will remain under investigation, WORLD News Service reports. Security chief Gen. Attiya Bazrou in Beni Suef province, south of Cairo, says the boys, ages 9 and 10, were taken Thursday to a police station to await their parents. A local radical Muslim cleric had publicized the alleged defiling. Rights groups say the incident showcases Islamist intimidation of Copts, estimated at 8 to 10 percent of the population. According to International Christian Concern, accusations of insulting Islam have increased since violent protests swept the Middle East last month over a U.S.-produced film that ridicules Islam; at least 17 people in Egypt have been charged with blasphemy following the release of the film. "However, it is not the film that should be blamed for the influx of blasphemy cases," said Aidan Clay, ICC regional manager for the Middle East. "Rather, it is extremists who have used the film as an excuse to press their Islamic agenda, arguing that banning blasphemy means standing up for Islam. The battle is being waged by Islamists who want their interpretation of religion to be declared as the only acceptable version. Sadly, the Islamists are getting their way, and blasphemy charges, like those filed against the two young boys, will inevitably increase."